Wait, am I about to admit that as a 30-something Pole (born & bread) I never fermented any cucumbers whatsoever.Yikes. But there it is.
In my defense, I’m a keen consumer of these crunchy & delicious pickles aged in brine. Buying quite a lot of that stuff, one might think I’m addicted. Why buy ready made then? – you may ask.
Good familycuisine.net, for some reason I always thought it’s a rather difficult art (or – science, or – perhaps both?), better left in the experienced hands of professionals. But recently my mind was changed, and I’ll tell you why you should give it a go yourself.
Homemade Pickles: Is It Worth It?
There are a few reasons why it is!:
- The quality of a store-bought ogórki kiszone can differ significantly. Why risk buying some dodgy ones, when we can make them properly at home? That way you’ll know for sure what’s inside the jar.
- The whole process is EASY. Or at least that’s what they claimed on the “Food Network” (the Polish edition) last night ????.
- So far, I can confirm – cucumbers in brine ARE easy to prepare. But please bear with me for another 2 weeks to see if the results are actually edible ????. And the results were great first time round!
- There is a massive hype around the world about all-things-fermented. And no wonder, they’re a superfood. Your gut will thank you for consuming them.
- It’s worth remembering that the Polish folk were (and still are) a total fermentation experts for CENTURIES. This is how we roll! If you’re of Polish decent (or simply wanna emulate our awesome Slavic style ????), just give it a go!
Polish Dill Pickles How-To’s
Before my first attempt, I equipped myself with a book by an expert – a well known Polish chef Aleksander Baron. In his book “Kiszonki i Fermentacje” (“Pickling and Fermentation”), he presents an array of recipes for all-things-pickled. The photos in the book look promising, so I’ve decided to give this method a try.
I cannot post any FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), since I have more Q’s than A’s at this point… But the key pointers are:
- To pickle cucumbers, use a common rock salt. It has tons of minerals, which enrich the brine and promote better fermentation. Avoid iodised salt and salt with anti-caking agents.
- It’s best to place the cucumbers tightly, under a slight slant, in layers.
- And lastly – a touch of sugar helps too, it maximally prolongs the period of proper fermentation. 1 to 2% of sugar (or honey) in the brine is enough to amp up the production of the lactic acid.
- An interview with Aleksander Baron on pickling
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